The Mongols (Men-at-Arms)

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Big Mac
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The Mongols (Men-at-Arms)

Post by Big Mac » Wed May 09, 2018 9:28 pm

I stumbled onto an Osprey book called The Mongols (Men-at-Arms):
The Mongols (Men-at-Arms) at Amazon wrote:The Mongols (Men-At-Arms Series, 105) Paperback – November 20, 1980
by Stephen Turnbull (Author), Angus McBride (Illustrator)

The history of the Mongol armies is a catalogue of superlatives. No armies in history have ever won so many battles or conquered so much territory. No army has ever provoked such justifiable terror and loathing in its victims, or slaughtered so many of its vanquished. What other army in history has marched on Russia in the winter and survived, let alone won victories? The stories of these and many other amazing feats of this 'barbarian' people are here brought vividly to life by Stephen Turnbull, from the birth of Genghis Khan in the wind-swept steppes of Mongolia, through the conquest of China and beyond.
It looks like it is mostly aimed at wargamers and the Grand Army of the Tuigan in Forgotten Realms is not going to be exactly the same as the Mongol Empire of the real-world, but Toril's Hordelands are obviously heavily inspired by Mongolia and I'm wondering if there is anything in this book that would help a FR game set in the Hordelands.

Does anyone collect these Osprey books? Do you have this one? How much useful stuff do you think is here?
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Re: The Mongols (Men-at-Arms)

Post by Havard » Thu May 10, 2018 1:09 pm

I've come across Osprey books while searching at online gaming stores, but I usually just dismissed them as only relevant for war gamers. Are these books really history books directed for war gamers? If so, i could see them containing tons of fluff that might be of interest. Would the fact that they are written for war gamers be helpful for roleplayers or would we be better off with a more general illustrated history book? Is there actual war gaming material in there like tactical advice or even rules?


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Re: The Mongols (Men-at-Arms)

Post by GMWestermeyer » Thu May 10, 2018 4:11 pm

Osprey works vary dramatically in quality, but more recent works are better. That's my judgement as a military historian - I think most gamers would find the early books just as useful. Check the authors credentials, as you should with any book.

Definitely do not dismiss them. The Tuigan are pretty much a straight Mongol rip-off, so if you are playing in the Hordelands this book would give you a great deal of extra info, and yes primarily fluff.

Frankly, if more gamers read the appropriate Osprey books I'd have less heartburn on forums. ;)

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Re: The Mongols (Men-at-Arms)

Post by Cthulhudrew » Mon May 14, 2018 2:15 am

As GMWestermeyer notes, the quality of the books varied, but by and large I find them to have a lot of interesting information: terminology, illustrations, photographs (of artifacts), etc.

I own quite a few of them, and have utilized them to help flesh out D&D nations that are modeled after RW nations and peoples (such as for FR and Mystara), and they also are useful when trying to branch out and develop more original ideas as well.

I do own the Mongols book, and like it chiefly for the illustrations and things; I have a lot of other material on the RW mongols and so was very familiar with them even before picking this up. I think it would be useful for someone who is not as familiar with the Mongols, though.
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